Okito Checker Cabinet magic trick to auction on February 7

The Okito Checker Cabinet is to lead a sale of magic memorabilia at Potter & Potter in Chicago on February 7. 

The lot, which is estimated at $7,000-9,000, was built by Tobias "Theo" Bamberg (aka Okito) in around 1947.

Okito Checker Cabinet
Theo Bamberg built the Checker Cabinet during the 1940s

The elegant trick allows the magician to replace a stack of checkers with a glass of rice. 

Okito (1875-1963) was among the most famous magicians of his era and performed for audiences around the world. 
He retired in 1909, opening a prop shop in New York. 

The tricks he manufactured there are in high demand among collectors today. The present lot is an exceptional example. 

Another Bamberg illusion, a mat trick he used onstage in the early 1900s, made $16,000 at Potter & Potter in April last year. 

A performance contract for Chung Ling Soo, aka William E Robinson, is valued at $2,500-3,500. 

The Western obsession with Asian culture at the turn of the century led to a boom in European and American magicians presenting themselves as Chinese. 

The lot contracts Robinson to "produce his Usual Entertainment twice nightly" at Bolton's Grand Theatre from December 2-7, 1918.

A pair of vanishing lamps produced in 2003 by modern magic trick builder Carl Williams carries an estimate of $2,000-3,000.

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